UPDATED: Broadcast late-night shows all continued as planned amid rioting in Washington D.C.
Individuals with knowledge of the situation have told Variety that “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” would all air original episodes on Wednesday night as scheduled.
Corden addressed the chaos in D.C. in a clip posted online Wednesday night, which can be seen below. In it, he says, “I got to thinking that when the dust settles, and we reflect on what happened on this awful day, that we still have hope because if there is one thing we can have after the last month in this country it’s hope.”
Kimmel meanwhile struck a more comedic tone, saying “The capitol was besieged by MAGA-hatters in all manner of crazy costumes. It was like a psychotic Price is Right audience forcibly taking control of the Plinko wheel.”
“There was a man dressed up as a Viking in the Capitol Building,” he continued. “Lawmakers had to scramble to the basement for cover. Mitch McConnell had to crawl into his protective shell Mike Pence was evacuated. Earlier in the day, Mike Pence – almost evacuated himself – when he had to call the President – to tell him – he would not be doing his bidding.”
Colbert opened “The Late Show” with a scathing indictment of Republican senators and Fox News. Colbert, who has spent the past four years delivering scathing critiques of Trump, took aim at Republican senators that have supported Trump and the Fox News empire.
“Have you had enough? After five years of coddling this president’s fascist rhetoric, guess what? His followers want to burn down the Reichstag,” he said.
Clearly disgusted, Colbert indicated that Republicans sold out their morals and values in exchange for Trump’s help in securing federal tax cuts in 2018 and a slew of conservative judges on the federal bench.
“I hope you’re enojying those tax cuts,” Colbert said. He also took special aim at Republicans who had planned to object to Congress’ election certification process today — the event that drew thousand of pro-Trump demonstrators to Washington, D.C. today. Colbert urged viewers to work hard to defeat Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. “Let’s remember them for who they showed themselves to be today.”
Colbert blasted Fox News for what he called “years and years of selling their conspiracies” to make a profit. “We’re just trying to sell a few lubricated catheters,” he mocked. “Well, you know where you can stick your excuses, and you can skip the lubrication.”
Fallon started off “The Tonight Show” by saying “This is what happens when there’s no peaceful transition of power and what happens when there’s bad leadership. This is not how you lose. If my grandfather were alive today and saw what was happening in the country that he fought for, he’d be disgusted.”
Meyers took the most hardline approach, calling for Trump to be impeached and removed from office by way of the 25th Amendment.
“The only way our democracy is going to survive this harrowing moment is if he’s immediately removed from office by either the cabinet or the Congress and prosecuted,” he said. “Anything less is tacit permission to continue to use his office, and his influence after he leaves office, to foment sedition and dismantle democracy.
On Wednesday afternoon, supporters of President Donald Trump stormed and breached the U.S. Capitol Building as members of Congress were attempting to count the electoral votes that would formally declare Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.
Lawmakers were evacuated as the rioters breached barricades. Thousands of protesters, waving “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and shouting “stop the steal,” flooded Capitol Hill and paraded through National Statuary Hall, creating a tense standoff with law enforcement that dissolved into violence. Tear gas was reportedly deployed in the Rotunda and shots were fired. Video from the scene showed the demonstrators smashing windows and climbing into the building. Police inside the House chamber were seen with their guns drawn as people forced their way inside.
The governors of Maryland and Virginia said they would dispatch the state troopers and activate the National Guard to help quell the violence. Kayleigh McEnany, the president’s press secretary, also said that federal officers and National Guard would be deployed.
James Corden reflects on today's terrible events at the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/ysSMxV7QGV
— The Late Late Show with James Corden (@latelateshow) January 7, 2021
“Today was a disgrace. Today was disappointing. But sadly, today was not a surprise.”
— The Tonight Show (@FallonTonight) January 7, 2021
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.